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How Can I Address Custody of My Children as a Single Father?

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

Los Gatos child custody attorney for divorced fathersChoosing to end a marriage or long-term relationship is never easy, and the divorce process can become much more complicated when parents need to determine how to handle custody of their children. Throughout the United States, there is a widely held misconception that single fathers are at a disadvantage in these cases and that they will only be able to secure custody rights if there is egregious behavior from the mother of the child. However, this is simply not true, especially here in the state of California. The state’s laws have recognized that fathers play an important role in children’s lives, and fathers and mothers should be treated equally in child custody cases. If you are a father who needs to address custody issues, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests. 

Child Custody Laws in California

In the state of California, a father has the same rights as a mother when it comes to custody of children following a divorce or separation. In fact, a provision added in section 3020 of the California Family Code explicitly states that a parent’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation should not be considered when determining how to reach a decision about child custody that will meet children’s needs. 

Under California law, child custody comes in two forms: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody will determine where the child will primarily reside, whereas legal custody will define parents’ rights to make significant decisions for the child involving topics ranging from academics to religious beliefs. According to section 3080 of the California Family Code, it is presumed that it is in children’s best interests for parents to have joint custody. In some cases, legal custody may be shared equally, while one parent may have primary physical custody, and in other cases, children may spend equal or near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

As a single father, you may believe that your back is against the wall when seeking sole or joint custody of your child. However, children’s best interests are the court’s primary concern in these cases. The court’s decisions will be based on how best to protect your child’s health, safety, and welfare. Issues that can affect these decisions may include any reports of abuse by either parent, as well as parents’ past behavior in caring for a child. This means that showing that you can be a compassionate, engaged, and mature parent will ultimately have a much greater impact on the court’s decision than your gender. 

Contact a Los Gatos Divorce Attorney 

If you are getting divorced or need to address concerns related to the custody of your children, Attorney Benita Ventresca can provide the legal help you need. She will work with you to help you achieve a resolution that will protect your children’s best interests and allow you to be the parent they deserve. Contact a Los Gatos, CA child custody lawyer by calling 408-395-8822 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=FAM&division=8.&title=&part=2.&chapter=1.&article=

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=FAM&division=8.&title=&part=2.&chapter=4.&article=

 

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